Veterinarian Near Me: Bad Vets and How to Avoid Them

veterinarian near me

How to choose the best veterinarian near me and avoid the bad vets might be the first question you want answers to as a new dog owner because your greatest fears include whether or not your dog’s vet will overcharge you, what if your vet can’t treat your dog in an emergency and even worse, what if your vet misdiagnoses your dog’s health symptoms which results in harmful side effects from your dog’s medication prescribed by your vet.

This news brief gives you essential questions you need to ask any veterinarian before you decide to put your dog in their care.  I hope when you read this post you’ll have all the ammunition you need to avoid bad vets near you and keep your dog healthy.

Who is the Best Veterinarian Near Me? Tips to Pick the Right Vet for Any Needs

You may already know how to take care of your dog’s basic health needs like walks and exercise.  These are subtle tips to help you select the best vet for your dog’s professional care.

  • Word of Mouth – Members of your community who’ve used local veterinarians near you for years could be your most valuable source when you need to find a good vet for your dog and avoid the bad vets. Dog owners in your local area will be honest about their vet’s service quality and give you actual examples how their dog’s health emergencies were handled.
  • Friendly Atmosphere – Observe the behavior and attitude of the vet and staff.  Notice the manner in which your questions are answered.  Take of how the vet and staff made you feel.  If you don’t feel comfortable, you may walk out and say to yourself, this is not the best veterinarian near me and continue your search.  Bad vets may not have the best bedside manner which could make you and your dog nervous or anxious at vet visits.
  • Busy Office – There are pros and cons to a busy veterinary office.  A busy waiting room could mean the vet has happy clients and an outstanding reputation… or, sadly the office staff may overbook and you’ll be forced to wait longer for your Veterinarian Near Meappointments.  Ask dog owners in the waiting room how long they usually for their appointment.  Bad vets near you may have a lot of clients because they’re the only vet office in town.  That doesn’t mean their clients are happy with the service or the vet.
  • References – Most vets will give you names of clients who they know will give you a positive reference. Word of mouth references are better because you’ll get the truth about the good and bad vet’s service.

8 Questions to Ask Before You Choose Your Vet

  1. How many veterinarians work at your practice?   You might discover the best veterinarian near me is 5-10 miles further away from your home because you want access to a larger practice with qualified staff on board in case your primary vet is too busy or on vacation.  Sometimes the best vet for your dog is not the nearest one to you if you want the best professional care for your dog. 
  2. What are your office hours and emergency policies?  You want to make sure your vet is open on Saturdays and has an emergency line in case you need help after hours or on holidays.  Ask about local emergency clinics they can refer you to and whether your primary vet will be able to care for your dog at that clinic.
  3. What services does your practice offer?  Overnight boarding services may be on your wish list for the perfect veterinarian near me.  That’s why you need to ask about all the veterinarian near meservices your vet offers.  Check to see if the vet’s practice has an on-site pharmacy.  Find out if the vet’s prices for their products are competitive. There may some bad vets who will overcharge for products which means you need to compare prices before you buy any medications or supplements for your dog. 
  4. Can my primary veterinarian perform surgery?  Your vet may need to refer you to another specialist outside of her practice to perform your dog’s surgery.  Ask for a list of the vets, surgeons and specialists that may treat your dog instead of your primary veterinarian.
  5. What type of equipment do you have on-site? Ask if the practice has x-ray equipment and the ability to do your dog’s blood work on-site.  Your dog’s tests will be done faster and may be less expensive if they are done on-site.
  6. How much is an office visit? You need to know how much it will cost for every visit to your vet.  Ask if there’s an extra charge for emergencies, Sundays and holidays.  When you compare prices for office visits, make sure you look at all the services for veterinarian near meeach vet and pick the one that’s best for you and your dog. You may discover your choice isn’t the same veterinarian near me as your neighbor because you are both looking for different benefits and conveniences like a dog nutritionist and on-site products.
  7. Do you have payment plans? – When your dog has an accident or develops an illness, it’s good to know if your vet has payment plans to help you afford care for your dog.  Find out if the vet will accept your dog health insurance plan to cover  certain services.
  8. What’s your policy on vaccinations, cancer care and euthanasia? Ask about the vet’s policy on annual vaccinations including kennel cough.  It’s helpful to know what to expect if your dog has cancer or when you need to make end of life decisions for your dog.

veterinarian near meNow you know that the best veterinarian near me may not be the closest or the least expensive.   When you get the answers to the questions above you’ll be able to choose a veterinarian near you that suits your needs. 

Share this article with your friends and relatives to make sure they have the questions they need answers to when they look for a veterinarian near them.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

SPECIAL BONUS — If you would like breaking news on how to NOT overpay for your dog’s healthcare costs and reduce the number of times your dog gets sick, then claim your FREE ACCESS to the “How to Control Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs” video news . Go HERE to get it FREE.

Insurance for Dogs: Flexible Coverage for Any Budget

 

Insurance for Dogs

The reason you need insurance for dogs like yours is because 1 out of 3 dogs suffer from an accident or injury before they turn 3 years old and it isn’t until you’re faced with a $3,000 bill for your dog’s emergency room services after she swallows a bottle of your Ibuprofen that you wish you had signed her up for dog health insurance.

This news brief will help you make sense out of the confusing insurance jargon you may have already read.  After reading this article, you’ll be clear about what’s covered and not covered through insurance.  Most people may not know that dog health insurance provides you flexible payment options that will fit any budget to keep your dog healthy. 

Insurance for Dogs:  What’s Covered and Not Covered

What’s Covered:

  1. Illnesses, Injuries, Accidents – With dog health insurance, your dog will be covered for treatment of new accidents, illnesses and injuries after your enrollment.  You may have a 2 week waiting period for dog insurance companies to check out your Insurance for Dogsdog’s medical records and notes from your veterinarian that would show pre-existing conditions which could prevent approval of insurance coverage.
  2. Hereditary and Congenital Conditions – Some dog health insurance companies cover your dog for hereditary and congenital conditions like eye disorders or knee issues.  This means that your dog could qualify for insurance coverage even if you may have thought these conditions were considered pre-existing.
  3. Unlimited Lifetime Benefits   Look for insurance for dogs with no annual or per incident limits.  Shop around for a plan with no incident caps or maximum limits.
  4. Customized Reimbursement – You can create a flexible plan that fits your budget with deductibles and reimbursement levels you can change as needed.
  5. Veterinarians, Hospitals, Specialists – You can select a dog Insurance for Dogsinsurance company that allows you to use any licensed veterinarian including animal emergency hospitals and specialists.  Your dog’s coverage includes: diagnostic testing, x-rays, hospitalization and treatments, surgeries and prescriptions.
  6. Hip Dysplasia – You can get lifetime coverage for your dog’s hip dysplasia, however you need to enroll your dog before she turns 6 years old.  Maryland and New Hampshire are the only states in the U.S. that don’t have a 12 month waiting period before hip dysplasia coverage takes effect.  This means you need to sign up for insurance for dogs with hip dysplasia before your dog is 5 years old for this coverage which requires a complete physical hip exam.

What’s Not Covered:

  1. Pre-existing conditions – Your dog may have a pre-existing condition like allergies or diabetes that has been treated by your veterinarian before your dog’s health insurance coverage starts.  No dog insurance company covers pre-existing conditions.
  2. Veterinarian exams – Annual veterinarian visits are not covered because this is part of the responsibility of dog ownership.
  3. Spay/neuter procedures – These procedures are not covered by dog insurance companies because they don’t qualify as an illness, injury or accident.
  4. Preventative care Insurance for dogs does not cover vaccinations or a titer test, heart-worm medication, de-worming, grooming and nail trim.
  5. Dental care – Your dog’s dental cleanings and care are not covered.  The only exceptions are when your dog’s teeth are injured in an accident which requires extractions or reconstruction.
  6. Behavioral treatments – Training, medications for behavioral conditions and therapy for behavioral modification is not covered by dog health insurance.
  7. Parasite control – Prophylactic treatments for internal and external parasites are not covered by dog insurance companies.
  8. Housing, Exercise and Food  Dog health insurance does not cover the cost of your dog’s housing, exercise, toys, treats and food.

This news brief gives you all the information you need to know about what’s covered and not covered by insurance for dogs.  You can use these points to find flexible insurance coverage for your dog that fits any budget.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have a checklist to use when they look for health insurance coverage for their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

Add your comments about your dog’s health insurance experience below so others can benefit from your story.

SPECIAL BONUS — If you would like breaking news on how to NOT overpay for your dog’s healthcare costs and reduce the number of times your dog gets sick, then claim your FREE ACCESS to the “How to Control Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs” video news . Go HERE to get it FREE.

Dog Seizures: Real Stories to Clarify Your Challenge

Dog Seizures

Dog seizures may start suddenly in the still of the night when you hear your dog cry and find him sprawled on the floor in a pool of his own vomit.  These short epileptic seizures can last less than a minute, however you and your dog could end up exhausted at an emergency animal clinic after several visits to more than one vet for tests and evaluations. You may be so frustrated that you wonder if there’s a light at the end of the tunnel or whether you’ll eventually lose your dog from these violent seizures.

This news story gives you 2 insightful seizure submissions sent to Dog Health News from dog owners who shared their struggle with their dogs‘ seizures. My hope is you’ll be able to glean information from their stories to help you cope with your dog’s seizures.  I understand your pain when you see your dog experience his seizure and how difficult it may be for you to find a satisfactory solution.

Dog Seizures Submissions to Dog Health News

You may already know that all dog breeds can suffer from seizures at an early age. Statistics show idiopathic seizures could occur in 6% of dogs.

This means you need to know what you should do for your dog so you don’t panic or cause harm to your dog during his seizure if he shows symptoms like: convulsions, excessive panting and vomiting.

The dog parent seizure submissions below illustrate why it’s so important for you to now notice changes in your dog’s behavior, muscle strength and energy level.  Your dog may need to have blood work and x-rays, take prescription drugs and require continual care which could lead to high dog health expenses. 

Dog SeizuresDog health insurance may help you cover some of your medical expenses.

Now, Phenobarbital and Zonisamide are epileptic drugs used as anticonvulsants.  However, your dog may experience side effects from these drugs like: ataxia, anxiety, weight gain and loss of muscle control. 

Check with your veterinarian for all the details related to your dog’s specific condition before you give your dog these drugs.

Kimberly’s Dog Seizures Submission

“My 3 year old Chihuahua suddenly developed weakness, stiffening of the neck and back and yelping as if in pain. I would hold him until he was comfortable, and he would stop crying. This left him extremely tired. 

We took him to the vet and was told he is having epileptic seizures. The blood work showed nothing .

It did appear that it was some sort of episode.  After being on Phenobarbital for 3 long weeks he is still doing all the same things. 

Finally we took him to an emergency clinic, and they did full x-rays, and showed us a tiny separation in his neck vertebrae. He is now on muscle relaxers and pain meds. 

He seems to be much better until during the night he had another episode.”

Kristina’s Dog Seizures Submission

“I have an 11 month old Siberian Husky that has short seizures very frequently.

The seizures began 3 days after he was neutered when he was 7 months old. 

He vomits and then immediately has a 30-40 second seizure. The first vet prescribed Phenobarbital twice per day after a standard blood, urine, and fecal analysis.  Diagnosis: Epilepsy. 

The longest he would go without a seizure was 2 weeks. 

The second vet tested his blood extensively and tested for a liver shunt.  All is normal except that his red blood cells are smaller than normal.  Diagnosis: Epilepsy. 

They prescribed Zonisamide. He went 2 1/2 weeks without a seizure on both medicines. 

Now we are trying to ween him off of the Phenobarbital and he has seizures every week and a half. The second vet suggests we play it by ear at this point. 

He may have to take both medicines, but we don’t want him to die of liver failure at a young age because of it.

The only other option is an MRI and spinal tap which costs well beyond what we can afford right now.

My question is even if we have an MRI and find out he has some other neurological problem, is there really any other medications that will change his status?

I know there are other anti-seizure medications, but is there really going to be a light at the end of this?

Did the anesthesia from his neutering cause this?  Every time he vomits, even if he just ate some grass because his belly didn’t feel good, he has a seizure. 

At first we thought seizures were his trauma reaction from eating things he shouldn’t have like plastic or pieces of a toy.  He’s so young and I don’t want to lose him to a grand mal.”

4 Dog Seizures Management Tips

  1. Prevention – Eliminate salty treats or food that contain potassium bromide which may lead to your dog’s seizures.
  2. Medication – Be careful about administering medication to control your dog’s epileptic seizures.  Any disruption in dosage may aggravate or initiate seizures.
  3. Diet – Medications for seizure control can cause weight gain so you may want to ask your veterinarian to help you with a diet plan for your dog.
  4. Herbal Remedy – You can use Turmeric, a powerful pain reliever and anti-inflammatory herb to help with your dog’s Dog Seizuresepilepsy.  Daily dosage for turmeric should not exceed 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of your dog’s weight and not exceed 2 teaspoons for dogs over 100 pounds.

This news story gave you first-hand accounts surrounding dog seizures so you’re aware of the symptoms related to epileptic seizures and specific questions you can ask your veterinarian. 

I want you to know that dog seizures are almost never fatal.  Your goal should be to reduce the frequency of your dog’s epileptic episodes so you minimize your dog’s suffering and manage his condition.

You can also submit your dog seizure experience and your solutions in the comment section below.

Share this article with other people you know who face challenges with their dog’s epileptic seizures.

I hope you received value from this article today.  I’d love to hear your feedback.  Leave your comments with your thoughts or questions.  Also, you can click on the social media links below to share this article… Thank you!

Dog Head Tilt: What’s Right or Wrong About This Habit?

Dog Head TiltDog head tilt normally looks like your dog wants to express herself or she wants to get your attention, however when your dog tilts her head too often, loses her balance and has strange eye movements, you need to bring your dog to your veterinarian immediately for a checkup to see if your dog has underlying health problems that could affect her central nervous system.

This news brief gives you signs to watch for when your dog tilts her head so you know when to take action before your dog’s health is at risk from Ataxia which results in loss of coordination of your dog’s limbs, trunk and head.

Dog Head Tilt: 7 Signs of Ataxia

  1. Tilting head – Your dog may start to have abnormal behavior and tilt her head to one side.  She might have a loss of balance or have vertigo and feel dizzy.  Unusual head movements could indicate nerve damage and discomfort in your dog’s head and neck area.
  2. Hearing loss – Your dog may not react to your vocal commands as quickly as usual and you might realize you have to raise your voice higher to get her attention.
  3. Weak limbs – Your dog may start to favor one leg more than another or have noticeable weakness in one or more limbs.  Even without signs of dog head tilt, your dog might have difficulty on stairs, walking or jumping because her limbs are not strong enough to hold her weight.  In the worst cases, your dog won’t be able to hold her legs up at all.
  4. Stumbling – Although puppies fall over easily, your healthy adult dog should stand up straight on all four legs and have excellent balance.  Bring your dog to your vet if your dog continuously falls over, sways or stumbles.
  5. Drowsiness – If your dog is excessively tired or seems unfocused, she may have health issues related to her head, nerves and brain area with no instances of dog head tilt.  An active dog may get tired, however it’s not normal for your dog to have a low energy level and act like she’s in a stupor.
  6. Appetite loss – Your dog may suffer from motion sickness if she has vertigo or balance problems which can result in nausea and a lack of appetite.
  7. Behavior change – Take your dog to your local veterinarian if your dog’s energy level changes or she shows abnormal behavior.

Cricket Ditty – Challenges and Solutions for Dogs with Ataxia

Dog Head TiltMargaret Ditty discovered her dog Cricket had Ataxia when her 7 year old Chihuahua started losing her balance, falling over and exhibiting moments of exaggerated dog head tilt.  Cricket has Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME) as a result of a vaccination at age 7.  You can learn more about GME from Margaret’s stories on her site, Pet Parents Fighting GME.

These 2 videos show Cricket struggling to stand up on a wood floor and Cricket walking down the hall with her custom designed wheelchair.

3 Types of Ataxia

  1. Sensory – Your dog’s spinal cord becomes compressed gradually.  Symptoms to watch for are when your dog misplaces her feet and her limbs become weak.  This condition can start with cerebral lesions in your dog’s brain near her neck.
  2. Vestibulocochlear – Damage to this nerve in your dog’s inner ear can cause hearing problems, dog head tilt and change your dog’s head and neck position.  Your dog may tend to lean over, tip over and even roll over.
  3. Cerebellar – Your dog may have uncoordinated movement, head tremors and swaying of her body. 

Causes of Ataxia

  • Spinal cord – Your dog’s ataxia may be caused by things like degeneration of nerves, loss of blood from a blood clot, malformation, cancer, as spinal cyst, infections or a trauma to her spinal cord.
  • Metabolic – Your dog may be anemic or have low blood sugar and low potassium levels.
  • Neurologic – Your dog may contract an inflammatory anti-immune disease to her central nervous system.
  • Vestibular – Your dog may get a fungal infection in her middle ear which can affect her peripheral nervous system and lead to dog head tilt.

Diagnosis of Ataxia Symptoms

  • Health history – Whenever your dog shows abnormal behavior, it’s critical to keep a journal so you can give your veterinarian a clear, step by step description of your dog’s illness with actual dates when symptoms were noticed.
  • Tests – Your veterinarian may order tests including blood counts, urinalysis, MRI and X-rays to determine if your dog has cancer.  Your dog may need an ultrasound to check her pancreas, liver and kidney function.
  • Expenses – 
  • If you have dog health insurance, some of your expenses may be covered, however you can expect initial bills to add up to over $3,000 if your dog has Ataxia.

Treatment for Your Dog with Ataxia and Dog Head Tilt

  • Drugs –  Consult with your veterinarian about drugs to treat your dog with Ataxia if your dog experiences pain from inflammation.  Ask your vet about alternative medicines and all potential side effects.
  • Exercise – Your dog’s motor skills may be limited and you might need to make changes in your home to help your dog from sliding on slippery floors. 
  • Products – Look into products that might help your dog grip the floor better or dog wheelchairs that allow your dog more mobility.

This news brief gives you information about symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment of Ataxia so you can take better care of your dog.  Much thanks to Margaret Ditty and Cricket for the work they are doing to help dog parents.  Awareness of signs of diseases can make a huge difference because you’ll know when to bring your dog to your local vet or emergency animal hospital if needed.

Share this article with your friends and family so they can watch for signs of abnormal or excessive dog head tilt in their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

By the way… claim your FREE “How NOT to Overpay to Keep Your Dog Well” video news.  Just go HERE now to get your Dog Health and Wellness Video News.

Autoimmune Disease in Dogs: Why GME Awareness is Vital

Autoimmune Disease in Dogs Autoimmune disease in dogs may attack different parts of your dog’s body, however, when it strikes your dog’s central nervous system, this condition can be life-threatening and some symptoms of Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME) often cause severe suffering like chronic migraines that require high doses of medication to help lower your dog’s threshold of pain.

This article gives you a heart wrenching account of a dog named Cricket Ditty and her challenges with GME told by her pet parent and our guest blogger, Margaret Ditty.  When Dog Health News read about Cricket’s condition, we decided that her story needs to be heard far and wide to spread awareness about this disease.

Autoimmune Disease in Dogs: Cricket Ditty – One Dog’s Fight Against GME & NME

Margaret Ditty has kindly shared Cricket’s story so you can understand all aspects of GME & NME.

Cricket was born in January 2009 and just turned 7 years old.   She’s a  fawn colored, female, Applehead Toy Chihuahua with papers.  One weekend I had wandered into a local pet store when I saw this precious little furbaby in her pet store cage.  She looked at me, wagged her tail and woofed at me.  She had me at “woof”. 

Pet store dogs aren’t cheap and her going price was $1,300.00.  I asked the pet store worker if I could visit with her in their visiting area and she brought her to me.  She was a mere 2-½ pounds of sheer cuteness.  She was loaded with personality and spunk and not shaky like most Chihuahuas.  So I called the hubby and begged him to let me purchase her.  She could be every present for the entire year that he would have to purchase for me.  Finally my husband caved in to my pleas, even though we already have a Miniature Pinscher with heart problems at home.  I never purchased pet insurance as I always put away funds in a special pet account for my dogs figuring that my monthly contribution would be enough to cover shots and annual exams myself. Big mistake.

Autoimmune Disease in DogsCricket’s first 7 years of life were wonderful.  No health issues whatsoever.  Then poof, in October of 2015 she started showing some unusual health symptoms that we were concerned about.  She seemed to be having some vision loss and she was walking a bit differently.  We took Cricket to our vet and he thought it might be a middle ear infection, prescribed ear drops and told us to use as needed.  Just two weeks later she received her annual shots, but no rabies vaccination due yet.  Another big mistake. 

From that moment on we saw a decline in Cricket’s health.  Reports say that GME, an autoimmune disease in dogs, is idiopathic in nature which means no known reason it occurs, but they are finding that toy breeds are more susceptible to this disease but not sure why.  In December, Cricket could still walk up and down the stairs, but by January she refused to go up or down the stairs.  She wasn’t as spunky and she was bumping into things that she normally would not bump into before. 

We thought Cricket might have diabetes as she wasn’t seeing very well.  This time I took her to the Animal Hospital that ran a CBC blood panel and specifically checked for diabetes.  They noted that Cricket could not walk very well, definitely could not see very well, and said she was almost blind.  After the blood work came back they found that Cricket had a severe bladder infection and put her on antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory medication.  She seemed to be getting better as apparently the anti-inflammatory medication was helping with the inflammation in her brain from the undiagnosed GME, an autoimmune disease in dogs.  Then a week later, after she had finished this medication, Cricket started getting worse. 

We took Cricket back to our local Animal Hospital who determined she indeed was having neurological problems and referred us to a canine neurologist located in Richmond, Virginia, the only one in our entire state.  We made the 2-½ hour trip one way as soon as they could fit us in. 

Cricket was in bad shape by the time we visited the neurologist at as she had been fighting this disease since October of 2015, unbeknownst to us and our educated vets!   Dr. Michael Higginbotham DVM DACVIM, with Bush Veterinary Neurology Service in Richmond, Virginia, examined her and determined she needed an MRI and possibly a spinal tap which cost us $3,200.00 .  After he completed the MRI he determined, due to the Chiari-like malformation in the back of her brain, she could not undergo a spinal tap as it would kill her. 

Autoimmune Disease in DogsThe MRI showed that Cricket had massive necrosis in the brain and Dr. Higginbotham determined she not only had GME but NME, which was due to her delayed diagnosis and treatment of this autoimmune disease in dogs.  Necrosis is when the white cells eat up parts of the brain, leave lesions and empty cavities in the brain that then are filled up with fluids, which in turn cause even more inflammation in the brain.  To save her life he had to hospitalize her overnight with Chemo Treatments via IV.  So that’s exactly what we did.  We hospitalized her to get her better and took her home the next day.

Cricket looked extremely weak and tired, not because of the Chemo as dogs react differently than humans when receiving this treatment, but due to the debilitating migraines which can be the most painful effects of this disease in the brain. 

We came home and gave Cricket the high dose of prednisone they told us to give her every 12 hours.   Although this drug helps bring down the inflammation in your dog’s brain, it has many side effects including weight gain, excessive thirst and a pot belly.  Then about a week later she was reduced to 2.5 mg twice a day and put on Cyclosporine, which is a drug used for humans to keep them from rejecting transplanted organs. Cyclosporine helps reduce your dog’s white blood cells from attacking your dog’s brain any further.  This med costs $156.00 per month! 

Autoimmune Disease in DogsA month later, Cricket did not seem to be getting any better so we had to drive up to Richmond for yet another $175.00 visit.  Dr. Higginbotham wanted to hospitalize Cricket for 4 days that would have run another $2,200.00 which we did not have.  After I broke down and cried in front of the neurologist, he cut us a break.  For an additional $156.00, he sent her home with a two day supply of Chemo that my local vet would have to give to Cricket. 

I just cried all the way home holding that Chemo in my hand like it was gold since it was apparently life saving for my precious Cricket.  My local vet administered the Chemo and Cricket seemed to start getting better.  In about 10 days, we had to bring her back for another CBC to check her white cells. 

Since Cricket was not stable on any type of wood or tile flooring throughout my home; we put down all kinds of throw rugs in the family room and put up gates to the entrance and exits.  My husband also made Cricket a doggy walker out of PVC pipe and I sewed the body support to her walker so she could walk on the kitchen tile floors without falling.  This worked and it gave her greater mobility and security on the floors. 

To help Cricket regain some strength, I bought a doggy life jacket and proceeded to do water therapy in our bathtub which seems to help control her weight gain from the prednisone and gives her more muscle strength.  Our vet thought it was an excellent idea, so I continue doing this to help rehabilitate her with hope that Cricket’s brain can re-channel the neurological damage she’s suffered from this autoimmune disease in dogs and learn to walk on floors without slipping. 

Unfortunately, Cricket didn’t seem like she was getting any better, meaning her old self, and we had to take her back to the neurologist. Dr. Higginbotham gave her 10 mg of Lomustine, a very strong Chemo Therapy in pill form.  This treatment was $456.00.  Needless to say we are hemorrhaging vet bills to save her precious little life!  This does not include the checkups with our local vet and all the additional blood work to check her white blood cell counts and to check for liver problems from the prednisone!    She seems to be doing better since this last treatment, however she still slips on floors and has good and bad days due to the neurological damage to her brain from the delayed diagnosis and treatment of this autoimmune disease in dogs.

During this whole journey I joined a support group on Facebook to learn more about GME, and then I created my own group.  I personally created a GME Awareness Pamphlet that I am passing out to every person I meet at drive-thru windows, inside local pet stores and veterinarian practices, at stores or to dog owners out walking their dog.  Members of my site are passing my GME Awareness Pamphlets out as well, and some members live outside of the US!  I also created a GME & NME Awareness Video that features many dogs on these sites that are going through this horrible disease, and the pet parents who are shelling out thousands and thousands of dollars to help treat and save their pets lives. We are sharing this video with every doggy website on Facebook. 

Autoimmune Disease in Dogs

It’s been an amazing but heart breaking journey.  I’ve learned a lot about autoimmune disease in dogs and made many precious friends on these sites who are going through the same health crisis with their beloved furbabys!  They’re amazing to know and truly an inspiration of commitment and courage towards the love of their precious furbabys. 

I want to spread awareness about GME and NME to other pet parents to help save them the pain that they and their dogs could go through if not treated early.  Some dogs can die within 24 to 48 hours of diagnosis because many vets are unfamiliar with this disease to the central nervous system.  Your dog may have some or all of these symptoms.

Symptoms of GME 

•Head Pressing: Dog will press their head against things

Autoimmune Disease in Dogs•Weakness in legs

•Behavior changes

•Circling

•Seizures

•Blindness

•Drowsiness

•Head tilting

•Unsteady walk or gait

I want to bring awareness about GME and NME to pet parents of toy breeds because your dogs are at greater risk of this autoimmune disease.  Annual vaccine shots given to toy breeds at the same dose for a 125 pound dog cause your toy breed’s autoimmune system to “melt down”. This high vaccine dose is like throwing fuel on embers of an already slow burning fire existing in toy breeds!  After your initial puppy shots in the first year of your dog’s life, I recommend you have your local vet administer a titer test prior to any additional annual shots!  A titer test will determine if your dog has sufficient antibodies against current dog diseases and if they do, you DO NOT have to perform an annual shot with the exception of Rabies, which is required every three years per state law.   If you currently have a GME or NME dog, remember that your dog must be healthy enough to receive further vaccinations, which they usually are not and are EXEMPT from further annual shots to include rabies.  Ask your vet to use a big red marker on your pets file that says “NO FURTHER SHOTS REQUIRED.”  A re-vaccination of a GME & NME dog would mean certain death!

My biggest advice to any pet parent today is, “If you own a pet, be sure to sign up for pet insurance immediately!”  You cannot possibly imagine how much you will pay when trying to help your dog with a life threatening autoimmune disease in dogs like GME or NME.  It’s horrific, and you feel like you are at your VET’s mercy because the other option of putting down your beloved furbaby is not an option if they are a member of your family.  Pets, to some people, are just as much a part of your family as your own biological children.  Some of us commit to them for life as they mean that much to us as they truly are man’s best friend, full of love and devotion for you.  Do they deserve any less than the best medical care that anybody else in your family would deserve?  I say “No they don’t” and for loves sake I will fight the fight and bring awareness with every ounce of my being and with all my heart!  Thank you for allowing me to share Cricket’s story and bring awareness! 

Autoimmune Disease in DogsWarmest Regards,

Margaret Ditty

Pet Parent to Cricket Ditty

Remember to always, “Educate, Encourage and Share”

You can find Margaret Ditty on Facebook and at Pet Parents Fighting NME & GME “Educate, Encourage, Share”.  You can also join her group to stay up to date with Cricket’s condition and learn more from other members of her group.  All photos in this article are of Cricket Ditty and were provided by Margaret Ditty.

This article gives you a full disclosure about Cricket Ditty’s fight against GME and NME, an autoimmune disease in dogs, so you can take better care of your dog. Dog Health News is honored to have Margaret Ditty’s trust to share Cricket’s story and acknowledges the incredible strength Cricket has while she deals with the effects of this disease.  Margaret Ditty’s passion to spread awareness about GME and NME is unstoppable.

Share Cricket Ditty’s story with your friends and family so they understand the symptoms and challenges of this potentially deadly disease with no known cause.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

By the way… claim your FREE “How NOT to Overpay to Keep Your Dog Well” video news.  Just go HERE now to get your Dog Health and Wellness Video News.

Dog Health: Who Do You Really Rely on For Your Answers?

Dog HealthDog health concerns are an integral part of dog ownership and sometimes you need immediate answers for your dog’s health emergencies without access to your veterinarian so you may have a list of trusted people to call or favorite sources on the internet, however the big question is whether or not you should always believe what you read and hear because you may put your dog at risk with your bad information you got from a friend or relative and wish you had done more research for your dog’s welfare.

This news brief gives you a list of the 7 sources of dog health information dog owners rely on when you need help for their dog based on a survey of our online audience.

Dog Health: 7 Sources for Answers About Dog Concerns That Dog Owners Rely On

  1. Vet – Dog owners like you really do rely on answers to questions about their dog’s health from your veterinarian.  After you’ve shopped around and found the best local veterinarian for you dog, you definitely call your vet first because your vet knows your dog and is the best source of professional advice in all situations.
  2. Google – Dog owners have gotten into the habit of ‘Googling It’ when you need quick answers to your dog’s emergency needs like when your dog gets diarrhea or has fleas. There’s plenty of information online to read, however you do need to find sources that are reputable before you depend on the internet for the right answers.  Check with your vet to verify that the information you’ve found is accurate.
  3. Specialists – Dog owners rely on dog health professionals who are specialists in fields like neurology, cancer and diabetes.  Often, your local veterinarian will suggest that you contact a reliable local specialist for your dog’s specific needs so you can get the best care for your dog.
  4. Dog Health Insurance – Dog owners have discovered that dog insurance companies are a good source for help when they can’t reach their veterinarian. Most pet insurance companies even Dog Healthhave a helpline with 24/7 access so you can get answers right away.  If you’re in an emergency situation and can’t reach your vet, this resource could be helpful.  You can leave a message for your vet at the same time to review the advice you got and make sure your dog receives the proper care.
  5. Vet Colleges – Dog owners have also found that veterinary colleges have excellent sources for top quality information on dog health.  You may be able to visit the college and meet with the staff to get better ideas on how to keep your dog healthy.  Always check with your vet to make sure the advice you get from other sources is accurate for your dog.
  6. Research – Dog owners love to do research on ways to take care of your dog that are innovative including things like chiropractic treatment, supplements, herbs and vaccinations. Once again, you should discuss your findings with your veterinarian to be sure that these techniques and products are good for your dog.
  7. Friends – Dog owners reach out to friends in the dog health business as well as their own personal friends who own dogs or have owned dogs in the past.  Personal experience of dog Dog Healthownership can be quite helpful for many health concerns, however, it’s a good strategy to check with your vet and go over the suggestions you get from your friends.  Not all dogs react the same to medical treatments and you don’t want to take any chances with your dog’s health.

This news brief provides you with the 7 sources for answers to dog concerns that dog owners rely on and suggestions on what to do when you’re in need of advice for your dog’s health.

Share this article with your friends and family so they can be careful about the sources of information they find in order for them to take better care of their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

Would you like to Control Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs? Simply fill out the form to the right with your first name and email and I’ll send you FREE news videos with strategies to save you money and time when it comes to your dog’s health.

Dog Care: 6 Health Musts Dog Owners Want to Learn About

Dog CareYour dog care responsibilities get more complicated daily with dog food recalls and emergency visits to your veterinarian when your dog gets sick and you can’t figure out what’s wrong which might make you want to learn new ways to stay on top of your dog’s health management because you don’t want to find out too late that you didn’t work hard enough to prevent your dog from an illness like diabetes or even worse, your dog develops liver problems from the toxic ingredients in his food.

This news brief gives you 6 health tips that dog owners want to learn about based on a survey sent out by Dog Heath News.

Dog Care: 6 Things Dog Owners Want to Learn About to Keep Your Dog Healthy

  1. Food and diet – Dog owners like you want to learn more about your dog’s food and whether your dog’s diet matters.  Your veterinarian is the best place to start if you want to learn more about food and your dog’s diet.  Another good source is your local dog health nutritionist and your local holistic dog supply store.  Yes, your dog’s health depends on a nutritionally breed specific diet and the more you can learn about your options, the healthier your dog will be.
  2. Exercise – Dog owners want to know how much exercise and physical activity your dog needs to stay trim, fit and healthy.  Check with your veterinarian to make sure that your dog stays at a good weight for his breed.  Basic dog care requires daily activity so he won’t get bored which can lead to destructive behavior.  You may want to investigate options with your local professional dog trainer to make sure you give your dog enough of a workout to burn calories, keep your dog’s metabolism in gear and stimulate your dog mentally.
  3. Illness prevention – Dog owners want to know more about the dog health symptoms you need to recognize so you won’t spend hundreds of dollars on unnecessary emergency vet visits for something your dog would get over in 24-48 hours or you could treat with home remedies.  You may want to ask your local Dog Careveterinarian for dog care information that will help you with ways to stay on top of your dog’s health symptoms.  Check out our other blog posts on symptoms as well to get ideas that will help you keep your dog healthy.
  4. Supplements – Dog owners want to learn more about how supplements can help with their dog’s health and wellness.  This is a very important area for dog care because you need to make sure that your dog is not allergic to any products you choose to give to your dog.  And more importantly, you want to ask your veterinarian for as much information as possible on any supplements for your dog, including where to buy these products, the dosage and any side effects.  You can also refer to Dog Health News and read about supplements and dog care on our blog.
  5. Ingredients on labels – Dog owners want to understand the list of ingredients on any dog food or treat you give your dog so you can keep your dog safe from toxic substances.  You can ask your veterinarian for help and suggestions for the best products for your dog.  Packaged dog food may be fine for your dog however you may want to go through the ingredients with your local dog health nutritionist before your give your dog a product that has harmful substances in it.
  6. Being a better dog parent day to day – Dog owners have demanded more answers to questions about dog care and the results are 24/7 access to information through social media, books on all topics about dog health in your local libraries, increased availability of dog health professionals, dog trainers Dog Careand experts in animal behavior.  This is good news for all dog owners and their dogs.  The biggest challenge is knowing that the information you get is trustworthy and appropriate for your and your dog.  Dog Health News suggests that you always go to 2 or 3 sources to make sure you’re information is accurate and look into dog health insurance as an option to manage your dog health expenses.

This news brief gives you 6 health musts dog owners want to learn about so you can take better care of your dog and keep your dog healthy through more knowledge of dog care strategies.

Share this article with your friends and family so they can add the information above to their list of things they want to learn more about to take better care of their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

By the way… claim your FREE “How NOT to Overpay to Keep Your Dog Well” video news.  Just go HERE now to get your Dog Health and Wellness Video News.

Cost of Owning a Dog: 6 Tips To Control Dog Expenses

Cost of Owning a DogThe cost of owning a dog might be the last thing you think about when all you really want to do is have fun with your new puppy and enjoy the unconditional love your dog gives you because she’s totally dependent on your care and at the same time you know in the back of your mind that dog ownership absolutely means you’ll have bills to pay, food to buy and unknown health expenses for your dog that may pull at your heart strings and your wallet.

This news brief gives you 6 tips on how you can control your dog’s healthcare costs based on survey results done by Dog Health News.

The Cost of Owning A Dog: 6 Tips For Dog Owners on How to Control Dog Expenses

  1. Health Insurance – Although only 1% of dog owners in the US cover their dog with health insurance, it’s one of the best strategies to control dog health expenses.  Statistics consistently show that 1 out of 3 dogs will have an accident or illness before they turn 3 years old and the costs can be thousands of dollars.  A good plan is to get a few quotes on dog insurance as soon as you bring your dog home so you can see if it makes sense for your dog and your budget.
  2. Discounts – If you’re a good shopper for yourself, you always look for the best price on your groceries, clothes, travel and basically everything, so why not do the same thing when it comes to your dog’s health expenses and cut down on the cost of owning a dog.  You can ask for senior discounts, multiple dog quantity discounts and search the internet for the best prices for supplies for your dog.  Talk to your veterinarian about all the ways you can cut costs and where you can buy the best quality products at the lowest prices.
  3. Food – The first thing you want to do is buy nutritionally balanced food for your dog and not go overboard with dog treats.  When you feed your dog a healthy diet, your dog will stay healthier and you won’t have to deal with dog expenses for Cost of Owning a Dogillnesses like Diabetes that usually develop in your dog because of overeating and not enough exercise.  You can also look into making your dog’s food with healthy ingredients approved by your veterinarian to reduce the cost of owning a dog.  The bottom line is that you may spend extra on the right food and much less on dog health expense.
  4. Checkups – Many illnesses go undiscovered because dog owners skip their regular vet visits to save money until they find out their dog has a tumor, heart disease or intestinal problems that cost them thousands of dollars instead.  Prevention and early detection will always be less expensive than emergency or long-term care for your dog.
  5. Vaccinations – This is a controversial subject because of the differences of opinion on how many vaccinations are really necessary for your dog and whether reducing your dog’s shots is a viable way to cut down on the cost of owning a dog.  Always talk to your veterinarian about your options and make a decision that’s best for your dog’s breed and age.  Your dog’s health could be in jeopardy if you avoid a vaccination that is needed to eliminate parasites that can make your dog suffer and possibly shorten your dog’s life.
  6. Services – You can spend hundreds of dollars on your dog for grooming, training, doggie daycare and dog walking. In order to budget for these services, make sure you get quotes and figure Cost of Owning a Dogout how much you want to spend every month on the small services and every year for the big ones.  It’s always a good idea to have an emergency fund for your dog so you can use this rainy day bank account when you need it or if you just want to splurge.

This news brief gives you some simple ways to to control dog health expenses so you’re not surprised by the cost of owning your dog.

Share this article with your friends and family so they’re aware of these tips to help control their dog health expenses.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

SPECIAL BONUS — If you would like breaking news on how to NOT overpay for your dog’s healthcare costs and reduce the number of times your dog gets sick, then claim your FREE ACCESS to the “How to Control Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs” video news . Go HERE to get it FREE.

Dog Care: Vital Things You Want for Your Dog’s Health

Dog CareDog care, like prevention and treatment related to dog illnesses, accidents and expenses, is  high on your priority list for your dog so she can stay healthy, and that’s why Dog Health News asked our readers what key thing was on their wish list when it comes to dog health, and you might want to compare these results with your thoughts about your dog’s health to see what dog owners like you put at the top of their list when it comes to dog health.

This news brief gives you the 8 top things that a survey of dog owners said was the key item they wanted for their dog’s health.

Dog Care: 8 Vital Things People Said They Want for Their Dog’s Health

  1. No pain – There is nothing that touches your heart more than when your dog is in pain, so dog owners who wish that their dog has no pain was not a big surprise.  You would most likely do anything you could to relieve your dog’s pain to make her feel better.  From the chronic discomfort of arthritis to the agony of losing your dog from accidents, illnesses and aging, it’s never easy to deal with pain when it relates to your dog.
  2. Improved appetite – If your dog is a finicky eater it affects her health and that means her immune system can be weakened.  Dog care includes a constant review of the food you give your dog so she gets the right balance of nutrition.  Talk to your veterinarian about all the healthy dog food choices so you can use a variety of foods in your dog’s diet that can improve your dog’s appetite because she likes what you put in her bowl every day.
  3. Best Veterinarian Care – This item is most likely on your wish list too because you always want to have expert veterinary care for your dog.  As a dog owner, you may not have all the information Dog Careyou need to keep your dog healthy or treat your dog when she gets sick or injured.  Dog care responsibilities are much easier when you have access to the best veterinary care so you can have peace of mind about your dog’s health.
  4. Affordable Health Insurance – You may want to check the rates for dog health insurance and compare features when you bring your dog home because this wish list item has become closer to #1 on dog owner’s must haves.  Dog health insurance might be the best strategy for you to keep your dog healthy when your dog ages and things start to happen to your dog’s health like diabetes or heart disease.  It’s worth a look before you find out you wish you had dog insurance to pay for expensive surgery or long term dog care for your dog.
  5. Clear description of what’s wrong with your dog from their Vet – You don’t want a veterinarian that can’t tell you what’s wrong with your dog or refer you to a specialist for another diagnosis.  If your dog has kidney failure or cancer, you need to know the facts and instructions for treatment in clear concise language so you can take care of your dog’s medical needs.  You also want to make sure that your dog’s illness is not misdiagnosed. Always get a second and third opinion if your veterinarian’s diagnosis is not clear enough.
  6. Quality Food – Your dog depends on you to feed her a breed specific nutritionally balanced diet.  Along with adequate exercise, a healthy diet may be the only things you need to do to keep your dog physically healthy.  Dog care related to dog food requires careful review of the ingredients in all the dog food and treats you give your dog.  Yes, there will be exceptions to the rules, however quality food is critical to your dog’s health and that’s why it’s on the dog owner wish list.
  7. What can you do at home for your dog to cut back on dog health expenses – This is an excellent wish list question to ask yourself every day because there are many things you can make at home to feed your dog and save money. There’s a long list of homemade recipes, toys you can make yourself and herbal supplements that help with fleas and dog health.  Dog care costs can be reduced when you look at alternative solutions to your dog’s health needs and work with your veterinarian to pick the right products and supplements for your dog.
  8. Honest and true information at your fingertips – This wish list item is critical because you don’t want to believe everything you Dog Careread on the internet or everything you hear from your friends.  That’s why it’s so important to find a reputable veterinarian you can trust for honest and true information.  You can also reach out to Dog Health News for help with information to lead you to the best sources of trustworthy content to keep your dog well.

This news brief gives you the most common items that dog owners want for their dog’s health so you are informed about the importance of dog care for your dog.

Share this article with your friends and family so they are aware of the top priorities of dog owners for dog health for their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

Hope you took some great value out of this post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. Also, you can click on the social media links below to share this article… Thank you!

Dog Health News: 8 Frustrations Dog Owners Kvetch About

Dog Health NewsDog Health News knows you may get frustrated with your dog in addition to all the decisions you have to make as a dog owner so we took a survey to discover the reasons that dog owners want to argue, complain or even scream about the responsibilities of dog ownership, because the last thing you want to do is have additional stress in your life after you brought your dog home and then realized it wasn’t as easy as it sounded to raise your dog.

This news brief gives you 8 frustrations of dog ownership so you don’t have to whine and grumble about the tasks and challenges that you have with your dog.

Dog Health News: 8 Most Frustrating Things Dog Owners Talk About

  1. Your veterinarian doesn’t know what’s wrong with your dog – There’s nothing more frustrating than not getting an answer about what’s wrong with your dog especially when your veterinarian isn’t able to give you ways to help your sick dog feel better.  You could get second and third opinions, do research on the internet and consult with your friends, who may have had the same health issue with their dog, however this takes hours out of your day and can add up to additional dog medical expenses with little or no results. Although Dog Health News may not have a solution for your frustration, the best strategy is to be persistent about your search for the best veterinarian for your dog’s healthcare and don’t give up.
  2. Teeth cleaning is difficult – Yes, you are not alone if your dog is not thrilled about having his teeth brushed or even having your hands in his mouth for any reason.  If you’re a new dog owner, the best plan is to work with your veterinarian and a reputable dog trainer who can help you familiarize yourself with your dog’s mouth so that you can perform simple teeth cleaning steps that will reduce the chances of dog dental disease for your dog.  Dog Health News highly recommends that you start early so your dog enjoys having his teeth brushed or gently massaged to help prevent gum disease and other dog dental health problems.
  3. Your dog is fussy about food – This is a tough situation when your dog won’t eat certain foods and you become frustrated because of the time and effort it takes to search for nutritionally balanced food for your dog and he walks away from his food dish.  Work with your veterinarian and find a dog nutrition expert who can help you discover healthy foods your dog will enjoy.  Dog Health News wants you to know that your dog could have allergies or other health conditions that might cause him to stay away from the foods that bother his throat and intestines. 
  4. Dog Health Insurance costs – There’s a great deal of controversy about the value of dog health insurance which leads to only 1% of all dog owners in the US signing up for dog health insurance.  You may want to look into a few companies who offer dog health insurance and ask questions about the benefits for your dog as well as the options including the deductibles.  Dog health insurance is one of the financial strategies that Dog Health News recommends you investigate so you can take better care of your dog in case of illness, accidents and injuries that could happen to your dog.
  5. Walking your dog in bad weather – No matter where you live, there will be a day that you just don’t want to walk your dog and it’s frustrating when you have to deal with torrential downpours or drifting and blowing snow, however, your dog really needs to Dog Health Newsget outdoors to do his business unless you have trained your dog to use doggie diapers and pads.  If there’s one tip that could reduce your frustration, Dog Health News asks you to think about how frustrated your dog would be if he couldn’t relieve himself in bad weather.  You’ll be right out the door in any kind of weather from now on with the knowledge that your dog will have a healthy body and not be tempted to relieve himself in your home.
  6. Not enough time to exercise your dog – If you can’t find enough time to exercise your dog, you may simply need to review your daily routine and see what you can eliminate so you won’t be frustrated about the amount of time you spend with your dog for play and outdoor activities.  Dog Health News also encourages you to talk with your dog trainer and see what type of indoor activities you can add to make sure your dog is fit and trim.  In the end, you and your dog will be happier, less frustrated and in top physical shape for sure.
  7. Owning a dog is expensive – This is the biggest frustration after you’ve brought your dog home and you find out that your initial budget was blown in the first 6 months.  Between food, toys, vaccinations and minimal supplies to get your dog settled, you can expect to spend about $500 – $1,000.  If you’re a really good shopper, you can cut back on your costs, however you also need to be prepared for at least one surprise health expense before your dog reaches 3 years old.  Dog Health News strongly suggests that you meet with your local veterinarian to get a budget for dog expenses before you decide to get your dog.
  8. Keeping your dog away from stuff in the street – This frustration seems like a full time job in some parts of the world with trash, dog poop, antifreeze, salt, sand, spoiled food and even dead animals on the road that your dog can be attracted to before you Dog Health Newsblink your eye.  The best strategy to keep your dog safe in the street is training your dog to walk with you on a leash where you are able to control your dog without force.  Dog Health News suggests that you look into a force free dog trainer that can work with you and your dog to help you teach your dog safe street behavior that will reduce your frustration on your walks with your dog.

This news brief lists the 8 top frustrations of dog owners with tips you can use to reduce or eliminate your frustrations with your dog even if they aren’t on our list.

Share this article with your friends and family so they can look at ways to get rid of their frustrations as dog owners.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

By the way… claim your FREE “How NOT to Overpay to Keep Your Dog Well” video news.  Just go HERE now to get your Dog Health and Wellness Video News.

FREE DOG WELLNESS VIDEOS: The Secrets To Keeping Your Dog Well And Reducing Your Vet Bills
Free Instant Access